Archive for the 'weird days' Category

I know what I did last summer

This summer was great, because I actually went out and met people, instead of just doing walks and trips on my own. I just went to places where there was fun looking forward to have fun and had it.. while mostly finding out I am not the only one who is having fun :) I had talks, I had dances, I had beers, I had trips. Thank you all. And in order not to forget, I have decided to write it down:

  • 13.-14.6. – www.zelifest.cz – my first small festival and a lot of fun, total randomness, naked punkers and new people :)
  • 28.-29.6. – taking my bike (bought in 2010 for 1000 kc) for a trip to Brdy with 3 guys whose rides were between 30-85.000 czk
  •  5.7. – floating down sazava on a thing made out of plastic bags and a piece of cloth
  • 12.13.6. – walking trip that became more of a drunk fun walk including sleeping in a tent in park of Ceske Budejovice
  • 17.-20.7. – Colours of Ostrava :D
  • 25.-27.7. – minifestival in Dobris, followed by a roadtrip to swim in Vltava, disco in a camp and jumping off a bridge on rope
  • 2.-5.8. – weekend in Banska Bystrica
  • 7.-17.8. – trekking in Catalanian Pyrenees
  • 22.8. – my first drum’n'base party till morning next to a lake (I did go to swim)
  • 23.8. – great film Gottland in an old industrial railway station (Zizkov)
  • 24.8. – www.cajomir.cz – tea festival
  • 28.8.-1.9. – climbing feratas around Dachstein
  • 3.9. – premiere of Sin City 2
  • 6.9. – concert of Wanastovy Vjeci
  • 12.-13.9. – minifestival www.coolvplote.cz in Pisek, including sleeping in park and sleeping over at the house of a total stranger I met in the street at 2am
  • 14.9. – doing a D/E ferata over water (with some places under water) in Bechyne
  • 21.9. – rafting on wild water
  • 26.-27.9 – minifestival in Unetice, including climbing and roping down a rock for a cache
  • 2.-5.10 – weekend in Bratislava

the story of the cracks in the world, othere reality and invisible people

Let me tell You a story…

Once upon the time… for example also right now, in a place far far away… but also right behind Your doorstep, there was/is the ground and people, lots of them. But there are cracks in the ground, You cant see them, You cant touch them but they are there, because from time to time people slip through them to the other world and become invisible to the rest of us. We know they are t/here, sometimes for fractions of second we see them but then our vision slips back into what we want to see and they dissappear…

It started yesterday with me starting to read this graphic novel Midnight Nation by J. Michael Straczynski (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1582404607/), even though it actually started long time before. But lets first talk about the book – its a story of a man who finds out that apart from the world and people as we know it, there are also other people here… They were like us but then they dissappeared from our reality – were overlooked, ignored and walked past so much that they actually stopped existing for us and became invisible for us… just like we became for them. Now both “breeds” live in the same world but cant see each other. While we go around doing our business of pursuit of happiness and TV, they have to fight for their souls because thats the last thing they have left.

Sounds like a weird piece of sci-fi to You? Did the same to me until I came to the epilogue, where he explained that the inspiration and motivation came from what he has seen happening – how normal people start living on the street and are overlooked and avoided by the normal folk like they dont exist and so after a while these people also give up trying to be one of us and get lost in the other reality – they slip the cracks. Just think when was the last time You actually admitted they are human? Normal people You say “hello”, “please” or “good day”? When did You last time ask any of them for an advice about the direction? When was the last time You actually even as much as looked at them?

I had the head full of these thoughts when I went to the shop tonight, it was past 22:00 when I exited and noticed an elderly woman with crutches and a stack of plastic bags next to her feet eating a piece of bread right outside of the mall… First my body went into auto mode – head down, gaze on feet, walk past. But than it cracked me – its maybe 7°C, night, if I could at least get her something hot to drink. I went back to the mall looking for a vending machine, none was found and was actually somewhere inside hoping she will be gone when I exit again, so that I dont have to go through the embarrasing/awkward/? task of getting in contact with an invisible… She was there (like she had where to go…) so I went to her and asked the most simple and straight question: “are you hungry?”. Her answer was simple and true “yes”, accompanied with a look of surprise and a hint of fear of something unknown as one of the bywalkers admiting her existence. I shared some of the stuff I just bought in the shop – she was very thankful for the milk, apple and some meat, but what made her most happy was that I sat to her and did just chat with her. I have been with her for maybe an hour, talking little about her past and mine, life in general and hints of her current life. And let me tell You this – it was like talking to a mom/grandmother of any of Your friends – a normal person You dont know personally but is fine to talk to and at the age of 65 whose age is showing but still she is not giving up the life. She was so normal that without the visual I could be sitting next ot any auntie in a shop or bus (not that I am too good in that – I feel strange in such a discussion, I think it might be that older people think and talk in slower speed. I am bad at going with people who are slower tham me, in any meaning of the word – its more natural for me to run on my own and than wait rather than slow down to their pace).

I made the next step, on Wednesday there is bank holiday here in Czech Republic, and as I dont have any program I accepted/suggested to meet in the morning with her and let her show me the part of city she lives/d in, one of the parts that is slightly forgotten and still has the feel of a hundreds year old town – in good and bad. I will see how it goes, worst case I will buy her a hot tea…

It was an experiment and it worked. I will do it more often. Because its only when You see these people and accept their existence, let them know that You still consider them human, will they also consider human themselves and maybe find a way back out of the other world, back among us – “living”, in good and bad. Because think what You want, even those who using alcohol or drugs have left even this “second” world for the world of pure dissattachment would still accept to become part of the “normal” folk, its just that they gave up looking for ways out…

Please find an invisible human being and bring him/her back to this world where s/he had parents, home and life before s/he slipped the crack, at least for few moments. You might not save his/her life, make them “active citizens” again or stop being dependent on help… but You will make them feel human for a moment again – some people will be happy to be invited to Your birthday party, even if they cant attend… and who knows maybe they will make it.

“Panenka Skakava” or A weekend about a trip about a dog and lots of other things…

Ok, now I have been considering like 20 different titles for this post, but lets now settle down with this one. I guess the most efficient version of the whole weekend experience would be bullet points, at least you will get the feel of how weird it was, point by point. If you have any questions to any of them, just ask (it wont be too many questions as like 2 people currently read my blog :) .. thats what I get for not updating for half a year :P )

  • the expression “Panenka skakava”, freely translated as “Skipping virgin”, is an exclamation like “Jesus Christ” or “Holy cow”. Its fairly common in czech and slovakia, but virtually noone knows that it comes from the name of (now non existing) village Skoky (leaps/jumps) and the picture of Virgin Mary that was reported to cause some miracles (healings, protection from storms) in 18th century when more than 35000 people are reported to come for a yearly pillgrimage, because of this Skoky was also called the Czech Lurdes
  • I wanted to go there on my own based on instructions from web
  • whole week was sunny and warm, friday evening came thunder storm and whole weekend was to be crappy weather
  • miracle#1: instead of at 5:30 I woke up at 6:30 with the train leaving at 7 (last train, any other connection for some 5 hours), sweated I made it into the train
  • from the train window I see a pheasant bird, not sure if I have seen one free ever before… or at least for last few years
  • miracle#2: in first train a lady sits opposite me and reads newspaper, there I notice an article about “be aware, time is changing!”, if not for that I would not know that this weekend on Sunday 2am becomes 3am.
  • I met a group of 5 guys in the train who were checking the map of the area and asked them for some details as I had only a (now I really know for sure) crappy printout of a small area with my path of choice marked on it
  • at 11:00 I was finally in my start-point, village Stedre (Generous), village so small that even the pub went bankrupt
  • I started hiking, after an hour took a path (a cycling track) that was supposed to copy my trail, after hour and half realized the path is taking me South instead of North… lost #1
  • at moment of deciding if to go all the way back I noticed a road under the hill I was on, so I skipped it down and came to a 1m wide river, I cant really jump that far with a bag so needed to build a bridge of broken pieces of wood I found around
  • got into the village, found out the village is so far of my planned trip its not on my crappy map. Instead of going 3,1 km to North-West from Stedra I finished up going 3 km to North, than 2,5 km back South AND 5 km to West :P
  • miracle #3: in the village I finished in (Radyne) starts a marked path going straight to the Skoky village (didnt know that, never heard about the track before)
  • I follow the track for next 3 hours going through beautiful country with nothing but nature, didnt meet a single soul, some 3 times I think I am finally there. Than I run into a village with people thinking WTF (I had no map so no clue there was a village), there a cute big white dog brings me a stick and wants me to play throw with him, I do – its fun and it looks nice on pictures. That dog is with me for the next 24 hours and becomes center to most of the next story.
  • The path goes through woods, meadows and springs, is very well marked but only one-way – the markings are visible only if you go towards Skoky, I think to myself  “going the other direction this way would be pretty difficult, good thing I am taking the other route on way home”
  • dog is fun, runs around, such a happy creature he makes me smile, additional 2 hours of walking or so, I consider calling him Angel
  • I FINALLY come to Skoky, I meet 5 guys there (sounds familiar?) who are just leaving
  • I will stay for night in the deserted village in the ruins of the old Guesthouse, take some pictures, dog refuses to go back home
  • I go to check up the upper floor of the house, 1 m of the staircase is missing but I make it with a big step, after some 1 minute the dog is up there too… Guessing right, when I go down the dumbass cant jump down, I try to carry him but try to pick up a 50kg wiggling scared furry dog. After several attempts, including offering him my leg, hand and own back as steps I decide to go out and find some wide piece of wood to make stairs for him. As soon as I go behind the corner the dog starts whining and crying like I am killing him. After 3 min when I find a suitable piece, the dog runs to me… So much for “I cant go down, help me” theater you sissy…
  • I am hungry, the dog is hungry, he can make a sadder face. I “share” my food, I had enough food for one person for two days… That bitch ates all I offer and beg for more.
  • Problem: I am to sleep on ground in sleeping bag, thus within range of dogs tongue. Thanks god that he is able to understand “sit” and “lie”, not that it would distract him for too long. After a few wrestling matches I find that only solution is to cover my face with blanket, than he leaves me kinda alone.
  • Its 2,5° C outside/inside. Dog is wet, cold and possibly hungry. All he does is whine, run around and try to lick my face. I make him lie down but cant stop him from whining, try to calm him down by giving him my jacket as blanket… Wrong idea, dog is just bored and after a “little” drooling into it decides to check out its taste. Stupid me, jacket has now a decent breathing hole. Thats pisses me off so much that even the dog lies down and shuts up.
  • All night is a chain of following repeating episodes: I wake up because its cold, because the dog is snoring, because dog decides to take a quick walk, because I think I hear the dog chewing on my camera/beer bottle/bag/blanket (thanks god all wrong, its just dogs weird snoring).
  • Morning at 5 am dog succeeds in waking me up.
  • Dog refuses to go home (that idiot has no clue where is it) so as a nice person (with feeling of guilt for letting him go with me and playing throw with him) I decide to track back my steps and return him to his village.
  • Walking back, lost#2: found way after 10 min.
  • I see a group of animals on the field some 50m away, they are too big for deers so I think its cows, at a closer look I realize its Capricorn/Moufflon! Not kidding, I have a picture (not a good one, I had the wide and not zoom lens on, so it took a minute to change + I thought its cows so was not in hurry).
  • The dog starts barking at something, I turn and see he spotted a tiny (moufflon, deer?) calf, first I think of it as weird encounter and take a picture, a second after that realizing that the stupid piece of dog thinks he is a hunter and starts to run after it and before I am able to hit it with a stick he bites the calf in back. I pull the dumb-fuck away and return to check on the calf, its lying in grass giving me a sad look and crying but no blood visible so I hope its ok, take pic and leave some 100m away with the dog. I hope that when I am gone the mom (that I have seen for a sec behind a tree) will come and take it away. I decide to return after some 5 min and if the calf is still there take it with me to village – if mom doesnt come now, she wont come at all. I return and the calf is still there… eyes open, dead. “Angel” broke its neck. At least it was fast. But you can imagine the pang of remorse, if I knew whats coming on I could have saved it… One more reason to bring the now “did I do something bad?” looking dog back home.
  • Soon Lost#3, lost for half an hour, cant figure out where the fuck I came from. I pray (nearly literary) for a sign to see or to meet someone. Miracle#4: After hopelessly walking aside the river thinking “ok, 100 steps more and than I turn back”, I actually run into a group of 5 guys (YES, those) who show me a map and point me to the village I want to go, thanks to their map I finally know the name of the village.
  • I come to the village, a local shows me his home and locks him in the yard of the house. My attempts on stories on how he ate my food and jacket and killed my sleep and a calf leave him calm saying “yeah, he always runs away”… while finishing that sentence the dog is next to me again, jumped the fence :P
  • “locked” in yard again, I eat my last pieces of food and of course as soon as I start the dog is here again. I start taking hike towards the town I am supposed to take train from. Dog follows. Me and dog spend 20 minutes in the “go home!” vs. “sad eyes” duel, that ass must have fallen in love with me. When trying to pull him he just lies on his back and does the “scratch my ball please” posture. As last resort I go back to the house (“angel” follows), ring the bell, master comes down and says “yeah I saw you the first time, thanks, well I will put him on chain this time, he always runs away with some cyclist or hiker”, doesnt seem concerened at all that if I havent returned to the village it would follow me for next 20 km…
  • finally on my own I set on the path to Zlutice, where I am to take a train.
  • Miracle#5: On the way I see a ruin of a small castle in some distance, decide to try and see it. Go to it, its called Hartstejn (= folkalized version of “hard stone”). I get to it to find out its a pure ruin except of the main tower that is beeing changed into a viewing tower, nearly complete. I check the entrance gate and… its open :) Someone must have broken it very recently, no marks of any visitors inside. I climb the ladder and stairs to the observation platform on the 3rd floor, great view all around. If I could choose a place to sleep it would be up here – smell of  freshly processed wood, sound of wind but warm with a view… Outside starts rain with hailstones, but soon finishes.
  • From the tower I see a deserted church in the fields under the castle and decide to check it out. There is a 2m wide river between me and the church hill and some rain falling from skies, but with a little bit of acrobacy I get to other side climbing an old cow-fence. The church is practically a ruin, even though recently they have put up a new roof, but still this is the most desolate church I have ever seen. After taking some pics and waiting for rain to stop I start walking towards the next town from where a track to Zlutice is to lead (the sign under the castle said its 12.5 km away)
  • I have to cross the small river back to the other side, I try doing it at the old mill (now someones house), an old semibroken bridge is there, I call to the guy on other side if its possible to cross on it. He says “sure”, well… He doesnt like slovaks or just didnt try it on his own but after second step a part of the bridge broke and I got ankle deep into the water. My shoes ARE waterresistant.
  • on the way I think I have no drinking water left, but Miracle #6 puts a freshly renovated mineral-spring water in my way, good water.
  • I walk towards the town, find an open shop there, go in to be welcomed “Topri ten” by a vietnamese girl who runs it. Ok, I thought its just Prague where all shops are run by them. I finally get some food.
  • I go to the direction sign that says Zlutice 16km… yep, I was going the opposite direction (lost#4), but right when thinking what to do next, Miracle#7 offers me a bus that goes directly to Zlutice leaving in 2 minutes. Btw, remember that woman with newspapers and the changing time? If it wasnt for that I would think I still have plenty of time and would go walking… and miss my train. (Miracle#8?)
  • So after a while here I am in Zlutice having 1 hour spare before the train leaves. So I go randomly walking around to find a path that leads to a small hill right above the train station. There used to be a tiny castle over there and is a left-over bunker from the 60′s, I check it out, take pictures and realize I have 13 minutes till the train leaves (cause I didnt check the time properly)… I run like hell down the hill, jump sweated in the train… and wait 5 more minutes till the train decides to leave.
  • So thats how the day ends, in a train sweated. Than me getting home, cooking a dinner too big to digest that sends me straight into limbo that I dont wake up until morning when I have to go to work.

Now tell me… isnt that a pretty long story for a single weekend? :)

I know, hard to read and harder to believe… thats why I have pictures :D

…WEIRD evening in Praue

sometimes you have to blog…

you know, sometimes you just feel like you have to do something and right now I feel i need to write this story while its still fresh in my memory. Because it surely is one of the weirdest 1 hours in my life.

At 22.50 I have decided I feel like a beer. In the part of town I live now its possible – go to a few bars around the block or just go to a TESCO some 2 km away. So I decided to go for a walk and go to TESCO. I logically wanted to take some empty beer bottles so I dont have to pay for them again. Just to realize that the huge collection of empty bottles has disappeared – 1 month worth of 8 people drinking beer… So I assumed someone took them to the shop to collect the money, so I asked and was told they have been all thrown away! Where I asked – in front of the house, big blue bag full of bottles. So I decided to take a few with me… filled in my backpack with them… and decided… that I am gonna take them all! Walking 2 km (= 0.5 hr) with a backpack and a huge blue plastic bag in a hand was what I considered to be weird and worth calling it a strange day… Sweated I reached the TESCO – 56 bottles, thats 20 kg of glass… Of course I bought only new beer and chocolate for the money I got for the bottles…

So I started walking home, nearly midnight. And see an old lady pushing the TESCO cart on the other side of the street already some 5 min walk from the TESCO. The cart was sliding, jumping, going out of its way to make her stride slower and more tiring. So with the first bottle of beer open in my hand I have decided to cross the street and offer help. Thats when the stranger part of the evening started…

She said yes, visibly already tired. Realize, its midnight and an 80+ year old lady is pushing a TESCO cart on the street with her shopping in it… She agreed and while leaning on the handle of the cart together with me was pushing/pulling the cart. She didnt live that close, actually even a little further than me, had to ask me to slow down and take a rest a few times while going, told me about her son who “is coming late, so she didnt want to wait for him”, that she “was hungry at home because she all her food and thats why decided to go shopping”, that she is “very tired, because she hasnt been going this way out for a while”… Even in two it was not easy pushing the unstable cart on the stone paved side walks. And when we have been only behind the corner from the place she said she lived, she asked for a rest… And started to fade away… She was leaning on the cart handle, eyes closing, hands loosing grip, knees slightly bending. She said she is just very very tired, was yawning, looking like she will faint. I picked her up and sat her on the ground with beck to the wall. Only when I started to dial the ambulance did she wake up and shown some ability to get home. But her ability to walk was close to zero, just slowly moving feet, to tell the truth I was not sure if she is ok (if thats possible in this situation). So I had no other choice just to pick her up and like a baby bring her to her door, sit her down on the stairs, unlock the door, carry her to ther door and let her enter. She asked me to bring the cart in the flat – cause “last time someone stole it”, but the shit was damn heavy. So in a spark of genius I asked if I can take it to tesco on my own, right agead.

She agreed, let me take that stupid piece of metal away and invited me for coffee any time I feel like… I feel like going to check up on her these days and making sure that she is ok… Coming over repeatedly and making her shoping… She was so vulnerable, lost, repeating herself without noticing… If I hadnt brought her home she would just stay somewhere and fall asleep.

I drunk a bottle of beer, ate a big bar of chocolate and went to sleep thinking how weird this city can be.